Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before The Coming Fiscal Collapse by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
April 7, 2011 by Bob Livingston
Longtime followers of Personal Liberty Digest™ know that I am a fan of Thomas E. Woods, Jr. His arguments in defense of the Constitution are always sound and he presents them in a manner that is reasoned, inoffensive and nonpartisan. And the arguments he makes in Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before The Coming Fiscal Collapse are no exception.
Agreeing with former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who said that a crisis should never be allowed to go to waste, Woods believes that the coming fiscal crisis is an opportunity to take a careful second look at government, its claims and promises and see how they hold up under scrutiny. Once you finish Rollback, you’ll realize they don’t hold up at all.
Most Americans have been conditioned—either through their education at the hands of the State propaganda machine Federal education monopoly or through the endless ravings of the corporate media—to believe that the government always acts on behalf of the public good. After all, the government keeps us safe, protects us against abuse from all-powerful monopolies, has enacted policies that lead to an increase in the standard of living and in all ways is a benevolent benefactor.
Additionally, thanks to government education, Americans are no longer a bunch of illiterate half-wits. And because we have an all-loving government watching out for us, we don’t have to worry about quack medicine, dangerous products coming to market and evil corporations working us in slave labor conditions.
Try debating with someone about the need for limited government and see if these arguments aren’t front and center. And another boogieman that crops up in any such discussion is the dreaded “D-word”: Deregulation. If only government had sufficient regulations on industry X, Y and Z, then the oil well wouldn’t have exploded, Bernie Madoff wouldn’t have ripped people off, the economy wouldn’t have gone sour, the housing bubble wouldn’t have burst and America would be paradise with no one going hungry, living on the streets or existing in poverty.
Woods takes these arguments and tosses them aside like the garbage they are. Citing facts and figures from over a number of years, Woods shows how government intervention creates far more problems than it solves. And the new problems are always met with the circular argument that more government intervention would solve the problems that government intervention helped create.
In a chapter on the Federal Reserve, Woods notes that although the Fed was once an entity wrapped in mystery and cloaked in silence as far as political discussion was concerned, popular awareness of, and opposition to, the Fed is now at its highest level in American history. And while most Americans still don’t understand how it works, more and more people are now aware that what was supposed to be a source of economic stability is, in fact, causing instability.
He explains how the Fed has created inflation and how this process enriches the privileged classes of the politically well-connected at the expense of everyone else. He shows how it’s a means to insidiously siphon resources away from the citizenry without having to raise taxes or borrow money.
Woods spends a great deal of time on the impact the U.S. military has on our economy, and how that influence has grown greater over the years as members of Congress have used various Pentagon programs to enrich their districts to ensure votes—even when some of the Pentagon programs and weapons system weren’t needed, wanted or even feasible.
He also covers in great deal the hidden costs that government spending has had on our economy through its programs that encouraged private government contractors to ramp up for production on military projects. He explains how those projects have distorted the free market by tying up resources and imposing unrealistic profit margins which drove up prices in the private sector.
Finally, he presents a plan that would roll back government to its Constitutional limits—while acknowledging that the likelihood that any of the plan’s ideas would be adopted short of a major financial crisis are about nil. But he holds out the hope that, should the predicted financial catastrophe occur, enough minds would be opened to the ideas that some of them might take hold.
For the Leftists who are quick to jump up and say that Woods is only writing his books as a means of bashing Democrats in general and President Barack Obama in particular, understand that nothing could be further from the truth. Woods holds both parties responsible for the policies that have brought us to this point.
This is an unbiased look at the behemoth that the U.S. government has become, how it got here, and what it would take to get us back to fiscal sanity.